Jack Ryan Still in Command
Command Authority, a Jack Ryan novel by the late Tom Clancy and written with Mark Greaney, debuts at #1 on our Hardcover Fiction list. Threat Vector, his previous Jack Ryan novel with Mark Greaney, debuts at #3 on our Mass Market list.
When Clancy died on October 1 at the age of 66, the news made international headlines. He was, as the New York Times noted, “one of the world’s best-known and best-selling authors… whose complex, adrenaline-fueled military novels spawned a new genre of thrillers.” Every one of Clancy’s 17 previous novels became a #1 New York Times bestseller.
Four of his novels became hit movies (The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger, and The Sum of All Fears), and Jack Ryan, a movie about his hero’s early CIA days starring Chris Pine, will be released in January. Clancy’s work spawned a videogame empire, as well, with sales of more than 75 million games to date.
Yet Clancy was far more than a brilliantly successful creator of popular entertainments, as many prominent critics and commentators have noted. To be sure, the Washington Post praised his books for their “heart-stopping action,” but also observed, “Mr. Clancy bolted from obscurity to international attention in the 1980s as the defining military writer of the Cold War… [H]e later became a key chronicler of the counterterrorism age.” And as the New York Times Book Review commented, “[Clancy] constantly taps the current world situation for its imminent dangers and spins them into an engrossing tale.”
Let the last word go to Colin Powell, the former Secretary of State: “What made his books so popular throughout the world, especially among the military, was how he immersed himself in the things he wrote about… Tom’s books were incredibly accurate. He didn’t invent impossible schemes. He invented things that could happen. Some things that actually have happened over the years bear some resemblance to scenarios that he put together. Tom could sense things and see things in a way that others couldn’t. He was a friend whom I treasured.” —Peter Canon
What Matters to Conservative Readers This Holiday Season
A lot of politically conservative readers, particularly those who shop at Midwestern independent bookstores, must be giving their loved ones copies of Charles Krauthammer’s collection of essays, Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes and Politics this holiday season. The October 22 release rose from #7 to land at #1 spot on our Hardcover Nonfiction list, having sold 90,000 copies last week. Since Thanksgiving, Things That Matter has surpassed in Midwestern bookstores sales of David & Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell and The Bully Pulpit by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Things That Matter was #3 for the week ending Dec. 1 on the Heartland Indie Bestseller List, based on sales reported by Midwest Independent Booksellers Association and Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association members; the following week, it rose to #1. “It’s very big for us,” Kate Schlademan, the owner of the Learned Owl Books in Hudson, Ohio, told PW after Thanksgiving weekend. “He’s got a lot of dedicated fans in the area.” The Learned Owl has sold 42 copies to date, including four copies this past Thursday to one customer.
It should come as no surprise that Krauthammer has such a loyal fan base. Even though this is only his third book, and his first in almost a decade, he has the kind of ongoing media exposure that other authors can only envy. He’s been writing a nationally syndicated column for the Washington Post since 1985, which appears in approximately 200 newspapers. He appears nightly on Fox News’s Special Report with Bret Baier, and weekly on PBS’s Inside Washington. Plus, he writes a monthly column for Time, and is a contributing editor to the Weekly Standard and the New Republic. Things That Matter was launched with a Nov. 2 lecture and book signing at the Reagan Library in California.—Claire Kirch
According to author Pascale Lemire, the concept of Dog Shaming got its start when Beau, one of her two very naughty dachshunds (the other was Dasha), decided to eat a pair of her fiancé’s underwear. Says Lemire: “I took the transgression to Tumblr, posting a picture of the guilty pup along with a sign, and things took off from there!” She recalls that her initial frustration was echoed by an ever-expanding group of dog lovers “who visit the blog daily and contribute their own photos so we can all laugh together.” Lemire admits “it’s nice to know your dog isn’t the only weirdo who eats used tissues from the bathroom garbage!” And the blog has clearly struck a canine chord: her book’s first appearance on our December 1 Trade Paperback list showed Nielsen sales of 17,981; this week’s figure has grown to 23,052. Time.com called the errant pooch “the greatest Tumblr of canine misbehavior ever… like a dog version of Post Secret, except far funnier.” The author’s been running DogShaming.com full-time for just over a year now (she previously worked in banking), and she becomes inspired discussing its success: “Dogs are man’s best friend, the concept is universal, that’s why it’s selling so well.” (And it may do better still when fans spot the new wall calendar; sales might grow as fast as a St. Berrnard pup.) Says senior editor Amanda Patten, “The explosive growth of the Web site really showed us that dog owners everywhere were finding an outlet for sharing their dogs’ most absurd and mischievous behavior, from barking at old people with walkers to using a $600 mouthguard as a chew toy. They were sending photos—clearly taken with love, affection, and even a twisted sense of pride!—in droves.”—Dick Donahue
Rick Warren’s Diet Book Opens Big
Ever since Rick Warren’s The Purpose-Driven Life became a bestselling fixture following its 2002 publication, people in publishing and Warren’s many admirers have been awaiting the next big Warren book, and it is shaping up to be a divinely inspired diet book. The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life by Warren, Daniel Amen, and Mark Hyman debuts at #12 on our Trade Paperback list. Co-authors Amen and Hyman are a psychiatrist and family physician, respectively, and both bestselling authors to boot. The three have developed a lifestyle program that revolves around five Fs: faith, food, fitness, focus, and friends. The title refers to the biblical account of the prophet Daniel, who refused to eat rich foods from the king’s table and challenged the ruler to a health contest. The plan has already been tested at the southern California congregation Warren pastors, Saddleback Church, where members collectively lost 250,000 pounds during the first year of the program. Media hits for the debut have been significant, including a Parade magazine cover story the Sunday after Thanksgiving; The View; USA Today; and a Weekend Edition interview with NPR’s Rachel Martin on December 8, in which he also talked about the suicide of his son last April. Much more to come includes the Dr. Oz Show (Oz had a hand in developing the plan and has blurbed the book), Time magazine (scheduled right before the New Year), and a First for Women cover story. Next year comes The Daniel Plan Cookbook, on sale April 8; The Daniel Plan Journal released the same day as the flagship book. Anyone smell a franchise cooking? —Marcia Z. Nelson